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Extended Operation Testing of Stirling Convertors in Support of Stirling Radioisotope Power System Development100 We class Stirling convertors began extended operation testing at NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) in 2003 with a pair of Technology Demonstration Convertors (TDCs) operating in air. Currently, the number of convertors on extended operation test has grown to 12, including both TDCs and Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs) operating both in air and in thermal vacuum. Additional convertors and an electrically heated radioisotope generator will be put on test in the near future. This testing has provided data to support life and reliability estimates and the quality improvements and design changes that have been made to the convertor. The convertors operated 24/7 at the nominal amplitude and power levels. Performance data were recorded on an hourly basis. Techniques to monitor the convertors for change in internal operation included gas analysis, vibration measurements and acoustic emission measurements. This data provided a baseline for future comparison. This paper summarizes the results of over 145,000 hours of TDC testing and 40,000 hours of ASC testing and discusses trends in the data. Data shows the importance of improved materials, hermetic sealing, and quality processes in maintaining convertor performance over long life.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Lewandowski, Edward J.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Schreiber, Jeffre G.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Wilson, Scott D.
(Sest, Inc. Cleveland, OH, United States)
oriti, Salvatore M.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Cornell, Peggy
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Schifer, Nicholas
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
July 28, 2008
Subject Category
Energy Production And Conversion
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
6th International Energy Conversion Engineering Conference(Cleveland, OH)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 138494.04.01.01
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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